A NEW outreach post office for a Darlington village has been hailed a huge success after a large number of residents came out to use the service in its first week.

Sadberge Village Hall will host the outreach service run by the postmaster of Middleton St George, Andy Hill, who will offer a full post office service twice a week.

The outreach post office opened for the first time on Tuesday, supported by technicians from the Post Office who ensured that the new equipment worked smoothly.

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The new service will add to a number of other community services offered by Sadberge Village Hall, including a cafe and play group, as well as the Our Bus service that runs to Darlington on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Mr Hill, who agreed to set up the outreach post office for Sadberge after being contacted by the Post Office, said: “The first session went really smoothly and without any glitches, which was good to see. It was really well attended, far more customers came than I had expected for the first day.

“Everyone is very grateful for the new service and I’m pleased to be here.”

Councillor Brian Jones, ward member for Sadberge, said he was grateful that the Post Office had recognised the need for a service in the village and thanked Mr Hill for his work.

He added: “The reaction from residents has been very encouraging and I’m sure it will prove to be very popular.

“Services such as this, even if only part time, are extremely important and it’s the kind of thing that helps a rural village to keep a sense of identity”.

The Sadberge outreach post office will open Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 10am and noon.